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* Sealandic Flanders in The Netherlands

Updated on October 8, 2015
Titia profile image

Titia just loves camping in her Van. Being an inspector of sheep she has to travel through her country all summer long.

Sealandic Flanders (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen)

This place where I live, Sealandic Flanders in The Netherlands, is the perfect place to visit when you are planning a vacation to Holland and if you like seafood, biking, the beach and nature: we have it all. The village Breskens has still a fishing fleet, fish auction and fish market and a fishing museum. The Roman city of Aardenburg, has an archeologic museum and the famous St. Bavo church (architectural style: Westerschelde Gothic) with its painted graves. The old village Sluis, where shops are open 7 days a week, daily visited by hundreds of Belgian people. We have Philippine, famous for its seafood restaurants. We have beautiful beaches at the North Sea, lots of camp sites along the North Sea coast, hotels, bed & breakfast accommodations. Biking through our nature brings you peace of mind. To put it briefly: Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is a must see if you're planning to go on vacation to the Netherlands.

Copyright: if not mentioned otherwise: all text and photos: Titia Geertman

My Old Farmhouse

farmhouse
farmhouse

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen - Farmland bordered by Trees - Land regained from the sea

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Poll about the Netherlands

Have you ever been in The Netherlands?

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West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen

Amazon Prime - Instant Video: Backroads of Europe

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen - Geographically

From the Sea we've emerged

Zeeland is the only Province in The Netherlands, that consists of several peninsulas.

People here have always been closely bonded to the sea.

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is the only part of the Province Zeeland, that's not surrounded on three sides by water.

It's bordered to Belgium in the South and the beautiful historic cities Bruges, Knokke and Ghent are not far away.

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen hasn't always been one piece of land.

In early centuries it consisted of several small ilands and during all the past centuries, land was regained from the sea.

Each new piece got surrounded by small, high dikes on which trees were planted to keep the soil from slipping away.

The Amazon.com video is made by the NCRV Dutch television back in the year 2007.

Photo courtesy: VVV Zeeland

photo: Kees Lems
photo: Kees Lems

First only ferry boats, now we have a tunnel

Our only connection to the rest of Holland

Geographically it's a bit odd that this is a part of The Netherlands and not a part of Belgium, but we're happy the way it is, though we've been sitting quite isolated from the rest of Holland for a long time. Maybe that's why the people in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen are more focused on Belgium for a lot of things and have a bit more exuberant life style than the people at the other side of the sea arm Westerschelde. This sea arm has always been kind of a barrier, because we could only cross it by ferry boats. There used to be two boats, one Breskens-Vlissingen and one Perkpolder-Kruiningen.


The Westerschelde tunnel

Both ferries ceased to exist when the famous Westerschelde tunnel was opened in 2003. Only in Breskens they kept a fast ferry for pedestrians and byciclists. So today, when we want to travel North to the rest of Holland, we can cross the Westerschelde through this famous tunnel which has a length of 6.6 kilometer (=4.10 miles). Or when we want to travel to the rest of The Netherlands through Belgium, we have to cross the river 'Schelde' by Antwerp.

Either way we have to pay a tunnel fee to get to the rest of our own country. The people, living in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen are not at all happy with that, though we get a reduction for the Westerschelde tunnel, it's still 4.00 euros ($5,50) each time we want to cross over. Imagine all the people who live in Zeelandic Flanders, but are working or going to school across the Westerschelde. That adds up to $10,00 a day.

In our local hymne, we call it an 'exclusive piece of land' and that's exactly what it is: exclusive but beautiful in many aspects.

Westerschelde Tunnel 6,6 km (4.10 miles)

Westerschelde Tunnel 6,6 km (4.10 miles)
Westerschelde Tunnel 6,6 km (4.10 miles)

In Zeeuws-Vlaanderen you can go....

* fishing (boat or beach)

* swimming in the sea

* chilling at the beach

* dining in one of many restaurants

willow trees
willow trees

Willow trees, dykes and the North Sea

Nature at its best

I will write mainly about the West part of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, the land where I (regretfully) was not born in, but have lived in almost my entire life, with a small break to study elsewhere and a two year stay in the USA (40 years ago) and it's the place where I hope to die some day.

West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen has mostly an agricultural landscape, there are no big industries, no really high buildings. It has only small villages, the sea and a lot of nature. If you love nature, history, draft horses, the beach, camping, fishing, a bit of nostalgia, then you should plan a getaway and travel to West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. Typical for this landscape are the small country roads, bordered with pollard willows, some are over a 100 years old. Most of them are very well preserved.

I see the sun rise in the morning

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You can also go....

* shopping

* sightseeing in Belgium

* eat mussels and oysters

* visit local museums

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The City of Aardenburg

A Roman Settlement and a museum to show it

Aardenburg is from origine a Roman settlement and a lot of what was found in the ground has been restored and is displayed in the cutest little museum showing the roman excavations. Aardenburg is famous too for its Pre-Gothic Church (Westerschelde Gothic) displaying its ancient painted and restored stone graves. My fellow countrymen are not so generous in offering English translated websites, so here's a website of Aardenburg in Dutch again, but you can click and look at the pictures. The pictures of Aardenburg in the photo gallery come from the creative common wikipedia.

I've lived in this village during my childhood in a marvellous 17th century old house.

My Childhood Home

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Photos of the City of Aardenburg - Living with ancient History

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Old church excavationmonument of the church excavationThe Little Archeologic museumOne of the remaining old city gates'Krulbollen', a local sport.
Old church excavation
Old church excavation | Source
monument of the church excavation
monument of the church excavation | Source
The Little Archeologic museum
The Little Archeologic museum | Source
One of the remaining old city gates
One of the remaining old city gates | Source
'Krulbollen', a local sport.
'Krulbollen', a local sport. | Source
birds
birds

Fishing Museum Breskens

with treasures, caught in fishing nets

Breskens is a small town, situated at the North Sea and the sea arm Westerschelde. It has always been a fishermen's village and they still have a fishing boat fleet these days. It's got a total overhauling in the last couple of years (not very much to my liking), but tourists love it. Most famous is the Fishing Museum. They don't have their website translated in English, but by pushing the colored tabs on top, you can see the pictures of what they're offering. Models of fishing boats, they have a reconstruction of the tides which works on a time clock, they have fossiles found in the nets of the fishing boats and even a partly skeleton of a Mammouth.

Very interesting too is the private collection of the late Thijs Verschoor of all the animals he found (dead) along the coast of Zeeland. He had them preserved and they're now presented in this museum.

The museum can not be entered by people in wheelchairs, because it's build on top of the Fish mine on the docks. You have to climb an outside stair. Here is a link to the website of the Fish mine on the docks, again in Dutch, but you can click the different tabs to see the pictures.

Photo courtesy: Fishing Museum Breskens

Fishing nets - the fishermen's gear

fishing boat nets
fishing boat nets | Source

Breskens - the fishermen's village

Breskens still has a small fishing fleet and in the harbour a fishing auction and fishing market. Each year in August they have their yearly festivities, where people can see the fishing boats all rigged up neatly. They have a big flee market and there's lots of sea food to eat, like mussels, oysters, crab and more.

Beaches in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen - Enjoyable, but watch the tides

horse riding at the beach
horse riding at the beach | Source

We border the North Sea

At the West coast of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen we have beautiful dunes and the beach to the North Sea. In Summer frequently visited by German and Belgian tourists. Villages along the sea shore are Cadzand-Bad (only FR/GE translations), Groede , Nieuwvliet (no website available)

The beaches are beautiful, but because the North Sea bends into the sea arm Westerschelde, the ingoing and outgoing tides are very strong here, that's why they've build so many wave-breakers. Just be careful and don't go too far into the sea, when the outgoing tide is there. On some beaches, Cadzand-Bad mostly you can find shark teeth in the sand. They make very nice necklaces when set in silver.

Photographs of the Beaches

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Camp sites in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen

camping
camping

Our coast is tourist proof

Along the coastal road in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, we have a lot of camp sites, big ones or small ones, often situated at the farmer's farm. There are also a few big holiday rental house sites, all situated close to the sea.

Camp sites in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen

Photo courtesy: Google Earth

Hotels and Restaurants in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen - Comfortable sleeping and delicious food

There are many big and small hotel/restaurants in the villages or at the coast of West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and also cosy pubs. Our specialtiy is all kinds of seafood. If you don't like to eat fish, there are lots of foreign food restaurants too.

Seafood Restaurants - Where the Good Life starts

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The best restaurant is at home

As we're surrounded by sea, you'll find seafood in almost every restaurant, except in those who specialize in foreign food. Mussels used to be a season related food and they were only eaten when there was a 'R' in the month's name, so from September until April mussels are available. Mussels can't stand the hot summer temperature and they will die soon and then are not edible anymore. Today, with the advanced cooling techniques, the mussel season is somewhat stretched, but not much. Most of the time they aren't available in the months of May, June and July.

In the photo our two daughters, Iske May and Lynn Karijn, enjoying their mussels.

Interesting Cities in Belgium - Bruges and Ghent, only 30 or 40 minutes away

Three of the most interesting cities in Belgium: Bruges and Ghent for their ancient historical buildings and Knokke-Heist for its fashionable life at the sea shore. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia/Brugge

Bruges and Ghent have the most beautiful museums and city canals, of which more information can be found on their websites.

You can also look them up on Wikepedia.

If you should go on a Holiday...

What do you prefer?

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Or you can go.....

* biking

* enjoying the country sight

* having a romantic evening

* visiting me

Landscape photos around our House - I call it the sub tropics of Holland

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Are you already planning a vacation?

Then let it be in summertime

As West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is partly depending for its income on the tourists, a lot of the attractions and museums are closed in off season, but our nature will always be there. There is a lot more to see than I've showed you, but I think you'll get a good impression of what Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is about. When you do plan a holiday in my land, just let me know and I'll put the kettle on the wood stove or we can sip a glass of wine while looking at the beautiful sunset.

Footsteps of Seasons

When ice is melting from the warmth of sun,
green leaves will sprout from branches bold
and sounds of new life will tickle your ears,
delightful sight, when butterflies unfold.

The time of growing into adulthood,
where beauty is spread in different ways,
when young hearts leap at promising smiles
and the fragrance of roses lingers for days.

The soil is wet, life's coming to its end,
slowly leaves fall, in orange brown glows.
The painter of sky is busy these days,
wind's playing the drums whenever he blows.

While silenced by the winter's blanket white,
we'll rest our souls in peaceful, candle light.

Have you ever visited The Netherlands? - Tell me about it

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    • profile image

      sherioz 4 years ago

      I love your photos of the fishing nets and the rainbow. I have been to Holland several times and loved Groningen and S'Hertogenbosh.

    • jejoju profile image

      jejoju 4 years ago

      That's not a mussel! You must see our Horse Mussels in NZ, It makes that pot look cute and not even worthwhile. That said, I still enjoy your lens, all!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      Your home country looks so very unique and beautiful. This old planet we call home sure has some gorgeous areas to it. I wish I could see them all.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 4 years ago

      You live in a beautiful place.

    • Titia profile image
      Author

      Titia Geertman 5 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @editionh: You're welcome any time, lots of beautiful landscape and seascape to paint here.

    • profile image

      editionh 5 years ago

      I have been to Holland a couple of times, looking at your gorgeous photos I feel it is a shame that I have not been in that part of Holland yet.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always dreamed of visiting the Netherlands some day. Thanks for sharing your lovely area with us.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      Your home looks like a very beautiful place. Thanks for the tour!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Excellent lens.

    • OldStones LM profile image

      OldStones LM 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens I was liucky enough to visit the Netherlands some years back. My family came from the village of Noord-Sleen in Drenthe. They immigrated to the U.S. in the 1840's. Holland is a lovely country and this lens reflects it very well.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      Very nice place. I love the view and the beautiful place.

    • profile image

      aishu19 6 years ago

      THis is such a gorgeous place...I would love to visit someday

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 6 years ago

      Looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      And by the way, your pictures are great.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      This is total new to me. I visited Netherlands but not this part of it. So thanks for an information lens, well done and presented.

      Regards

    • javr profile image

      javr 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I would like to visit and do a biking trip in the Netherlands.

    • Geekgurl profile image

      Kimberly Hiller 6 years ago from Chicago

      When I was traveling to Europe, I really wanted to stop by The Netherlands. I will definitely go someday. Your lens is really well put together and the pictures are wonderful.

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      Just lovely... thank you :)

    • Titia profile image
      Author

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @mivvy: Thanks for your comment. I just tried and both links were working fine.

    • mivvy profile image

      mivvy 6 years ago

      Interesting lens and great photos. I especially like the series ofthe trees. (I wanted to follow you at twitter but your tweet links don't work)

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